3 under-used EHR features
Electronic health record systems are a worthwhile investment for healthcare providers. But there are some EHR features many providers aren’t using that could help them get even more out of that investment.
One way healthcare organizations can get more out of their EHR systems is to offer more tools patients can use, according to the American Medical Association. These are three EHR features that can help:
- Patient portals – This feature can save providers a lot of time and money by allowing patients to complete more activities — such as booking appointments, paying bills, or requesting referrals — without taking up staff time.
- In-office kiosks – In addition to portals patients can access online from their homes, offices can also become more efficient by providing computers or tablets they can use as in-office kiosks to update insurance information and health data before they see a doctor. That can also help reduce staffing needs.
- E-prescribing – Sending prescriptions electronically has many benefits for doctors and patients, including a reduction in errors and an increase in the likelihood that patients actually pick up their medication. That leads to better outcomes as well as reductions in cost.
One reason many providers aren’t using those features may be the investment required. Some EHR vendors charge additional fees for those features, and they may also require additional hardware or staff training. Providers should examine each item to see if the return will be greater than the cost.
Another key to getting the most out of an EHR system: getting input from patients. Asking patients what new features they think would be helpful will make sure they’re getting what they need — and that new features will actually be used once they’re implemented.
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